Here are 3 amazing things God did during Joel’s time down in Guinea…
The first challenge was the drive to the village. The drive on the whole went better than they thought, but there was one part that was definitely sketchy. Work is being done for a bridge, but it is not close to done yet. When they arrived to this part, they got out and started measuring the depth of the water with boards and prepping what they could to drive through it. Then just as they were about to attempt it a boy shows up and says that there is a deviation around the village to get past this part. It was miraculous timing and this meant they were able to make the trip in under 5 hours.
One of the things that is really helpful is to have a voice in the village. It is for that reason we always encourage people to move close to their location and start reaching out to people and see who God connects them with. There is no formula as to how to do this and often we are fully dependent on God to guide and direct us to the right people. When this team first showed up in the village they had a guide, but when they arrived the village connected them with a man from a neighboring village who was educated and therefore had a good level of French. This man has started becoming the advocate and guide as they have traveled around to many different villages. On this trip to the village, the first person Joel and Ron (our other leader) met with was this man. They explained to him what this team hoped to do among this people group. They were so impressed with the advocate God has provided for them. He understood what they wanted quickly, was very calm and helpful and he was a good communicator. Once they had explained all this to him, he became their voice as they met with the elders that way everything could be communicated clearly in their language. This man was a huge blessing and I am sure will continue to be a huge blessing to this team as they head forward
An Attitude Change
As the elder and religious leaders gathered, it was clear that the religious leader was very skeptical of these men. The whole time their advocate was sharing about what they wanted to do, you could tell in his demeanor that he was hesitant to support them coming. One of the people there in the meeting recognized Ron as he has worked in Guinea now for 25 year. When all was shared he asked a very challenging question about whether we were there to attack the religious group who was there. This opened the door for Ron to share. He shared with them that we were religious teachers. He shared that their goal is not to fight the religious group that is there, but to teach the holy scriptures in their language. It is not about one religion versus another, but it is about the truths that can be found in the scriptures and and following God on the straight path that He has defined. Upon hearing the answer to this question the attitude of the religious leader completely changed. He wanted to have the scriptures and to have them taught and was happy to have them come. We serve an amazing God!
What is ahead for this team
The next day they went to the main village and shared the same thing with the leaders there. The group welcomed them and was happy to have them move in although it was clear that they were not as much engaged as the first group. This was one more affirmation of where the door is opening for this team to move in. Now that all the formalities have begun, the team is free to begin the process of moving in. They will head back in the next month and pick land and hopefully figure out who will be their host in the village. The elders encouraged them that right now was the time to build as the work in the fields is done and men are available to work, so they are hoping to begin building as soon as possible so that they can get moved into the village and begin learning learning language and becoming part of life there. There is still so much ahead for this team, but this weekend was a big step forward. A step in which God clearly showed how he was in control and that he was the one making things happen for his glory. Thank you for you prayers!